Sunday, 23 August 2015

Why Virgin Radio's celebrated new anti-piracy strategy will not work

I recently stumbled upon an interesting new anti-piracy campaign from Virgin Radio which you can read more about here.

Essentially, it puts emphasis on the work which has gone into creating popular musical works and bears the tagline: 'If you knew what went into it, you wouldn't steal it'.

I kinda like it, in as much as it is thought provoking and a softer touch than some more recent anti-piracy strategies.

But it won't work.

First of all, it makes the perennial mistake of using the word 'steal', likening piracy to theft when it is not theft but copyright infringement. Put another way, it's confusing.

The main issue however, is that it focuses on musical works by musicians who are dead. Some insight from my recent Doctoral thesis strongly suggests that people are keen to buy music from emerging artists, but less so for successful ones. At the heart of this is where the money goes.

You can't support a dead artist financially.

Also, most of the artists in the spotlight will not strike a chord with the key demographic of interest: young people.

The emphasis should have been on popular contemporary artists - ones who are alive.

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